The ingathering of the jewish (Moroccan) diaspora: Zionism and global hometown awareness among Spanish-Moroccan jews in Israel

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Abstract

Homeland/diaspora dichotomies are emblematic of the Zionist philosophy and, as a consequence, also in the common critical annals of long-lasting diasporic ethnicities among Jewish immigrants to Israel. This observation applies in particular to Jewish immigrants from Islamic countries, whose Eastern pre-immigration cultures conceivably contrast with the Western character of the national-Zionist venture. In this article, I focus on MABAT, an Israel-based hometown association of Jews from the former Spanish-dominated area in northern Morocco which, from its founding in 1979, embraced the Zionist notion of homecoming. I show how they came to form their own singular network in Israel, while appealing to their former hometowns, as well as to their emerging centres of diffusion in the Americas and Europe, thereby challenging commonly held assumptions of Israel/ diaspora, East/West dichotomies in the annals of Jewish ethnicities in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-155
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Judaism
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Europe
  • Immigrant associations
  • Israel
  • Northern Morocco
  • Sephardi-Mizrahim
  • The Americas
  • Transnationalism
  • Zionism

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